Blake Froling

New Faces in Spartyland: Basketball Recruiting Update

The 2014-15 campaign may be gloomy, depressing and confusing at times, but fear not fellow Spartans! Recruiting allows us to look ahead to greener pastures with a promising crop of incoming talent on the horizon.

Here’s a report on the top basketball recruits headed, or possibly headed, to East Lansing next year. Read More…

Spartans Look to Figure it Out Against Nittany Lions

After a frustrating and deflating loss in College Park, Maryland last Saturday, the Spartans returned with their tails between their legs. Tonight, they have an opportunity to erase the nightmare of the Terrapins with a game against Penn State at the Breslin Center.

The Nittany Lions (12-6, 0-5) have fallen on hard times since conference play started. They are dead last in the Big Ten following a home overtime loss to Purdue on Saturday. However, Penn State does have one thing going for them: DJ Newbill. He leads the Big Ten in scoring at 21.7 points per game. However, he is the only Nittany Lion that averages double-figure scoring. Read More…

Three-Point Play: Free Throws, Three-Pointers and “Trigga Trav”

The halfway point of the college basketball season is upon us. Three months of upsets, head-scratchers, blowouts and everything in between has made this season one of the most tumultuous and exciting in recent memory.

As for Michigan State, the season has been confusing to say the least. This team is an enigma, changing with every game and impossible for the experts to put a finger on. Here are three main storylines surrounding the troubled, yet explosive Spartans. Read More…

Impact Izzone 11/23

This week, hosts Andrew Hayes and Blake Froling analyze the Navy struggle and Duke loss. They preview the Maryland game and talk about other big games around the first week of college basketball.
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Okafor, Blue Devils Too Much for Spartans

When Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski get together, you know it is going to be a battle.

Coach K’s ridiculously talented Blue Devils defeated Coach Izzo’s young Spartans in the Champions Classic Tuesday night, 81-71.

Duke came armed with the best recruiting class in the nation, featuring the crown jewel of the group, Jahlil Okafor. He was the top-ranked recruit in the 2014 class and is considered the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft this summer. Read More…

Previewing Key Non-Conference Matchups for Men’s Basketball

Before Big Ten conference play begins on December 30 with a matchup against Maryland, MSU faces a brutal non-conference schedule that will test head coach Tom Izzo’s young team right away. Sure, there are some cupcakes along the way with home games against Loyola (Chicago), Arkansas-Pine Bluff and The Citadel, but there are some grisly showdowns on the horizon.

Here is a preview of the biggest games of the non-conference schedule. Read More…

Opinion: Best-Case/Worst-Case Scenarios for Men’s Basketball’s “Big Three”

A new men’s basketball season is finally upon us, and with it comes the endless speculation by fans and experts alike. The success or struggles of Travis Trice, Denzel Valentine and Branden Dawson will determine the success or struggles of the Michigan State Spartans as a whole.

Here are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Spartans’ “Big Three.” Read More…

Izzo Rocks Michigan State Madness

On an unseasonably warm October night, Spartan fans from around the state packed in to the Breslin Center to witness the spectacle that is Michigan State Madness (formerly known as Midnight Madness). Lines wrapped all the way around the stadium, one even stretching from the Magic Johnson statue to Shaw Lane.

Coach Tom Izzo has built quite the reputation for flashy entrances, and spectators were clueless as to what he might do this time. In recent years, Izzo rode in on a horse, came in dressed as Iron Man and even had a little help from a real-life Spartan, Gerard Butler. Last year, he faked out everyone in the building (myself included) when he pretended to get shot out of a giant cannon. Read More…

Impact Izzone — 10/24/14

It is officially 10 days until MSU men’s preseason basketball starts. Hosts Andrew Hayes and Blake Froling talk about all the festivities leading up to tip-off including the Izzone Campout and Midnight Madness.

The hosts give their predictions for Izzo’s entrance and much more on this edition of Impact Izzone. Read More…

Where Are They Now? Spartans in the NBA: Alan Anderson

Alan Anderson’s path to the NBA is a perfect example of how perseverance pays off.

The 6-foot-6, 220 pound guard was known as one of the best ball handlers on Coach Izzo’s teams from 2002-2005. Anderson led the Spartans to the Final Four in his senior season in 2005, averaging a team-high 13.6 points per game while adding 5.4 rebounds. He was a two-time team MVP in 2003 and 2005 and also won MSU’s John E. Benington Defensive Player Award in his freshman and senior seasons. Read More…

Opinion: Lack of Star Power Nothing New for Izzo

On the surface, it appears as though Tom Izzo has a recruiting crisis on his hands.

The Spartans missed out on yet another top-tier recruit in guard Jalen Brunson, who committed to Villanova University earlier in September. Brunson is the latest in a long line of missed five-star recruits in the past several years (recruiting rankings based on espn.com). Read More…

Impact Izzone – 10/1/14

This week, on Impact Izzone, hosts Andrew Hayes and Blake Froling talk the latest news on the recruitment trail. Later, they will each give their take on the status of MSU’s big men following the loss of Adreian Payne.

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Impact Izzone – 9/11/14

The summer is over and Hayes and Froling are back talking Spartan hoops.

They comment on the Kenny Kaminski dismissal as well as recruiting developments that they missed over the break.

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Getting to Know Marvin Clark Jr.

The recruiting class of 2014 got a little better with the signing of Marvin Clark Jr.

The 6-foot-7, 219-pound small forward committed to Michigan State a month ago, joining Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn and Javon Bess. He is a three-star recruit, according to rivals.com.

Clark is from Bel Aire, Kan. and played for Sunrise Christian Academy, the same school as Nairn.

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Impact Izzone – 4/10

It is all over.

Hayes and Blake discuss their sadness to the end of the NCAA Tournament and give their take on the championship game. They also look ahead to next year for the Spartans and what needs to improve for another run in the Tournament.

The sadness that is felt over the end of the basketball season is nothing compared to the sadness felt over the loss of young Lacey Holsworth this week. Read More…

The Pact – #25 – 4/7/14

With March Madness drawing to a close, the NHL playoffs are taking the spotlight.

In the first half of the show, Fino moderates as Lou and Austin debate the Wings’ chances in the upcoming playoffs. If the pieces fall into place, is Detroit a Stanley Cup contender?

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Spartans’ Draft Stocks after NCAA Tournament

After a disappointing loss to UConn in the Elite Eight, four Spartans now have time to think about their NBA futures.

Adreian PayneKeith ApplingGary Harris and Branden Dawson are all targets of NBA scouts and general managers. Their draft stocks have gone up and down throughout the season, especially in the tournament. Here is where each player’s draft stock stands.

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Impact Izzone – Tournament Edition #3

Blake hosts the latest edition of Impact Izzone and Hayes calls in from Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania to discuss what went wrong in New York for the Spartans’ men’s basketball team.

The two also preview the Final Four and Hayes even has an Andy Katz story. They are willing to bet you do not.

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Trip to North Texas on the Line against UConn

Tom Izzo has never coached a senior that has not made it to the Final Four. A win on Sunday against the Connecticut Huskies will continue that incredible streak.

No. 7 UConn is a bit of a surprise team to make it to the Elite Eight, beating No. 10 St. Joseph’s, No. 2 Villanova and No. 3 Iowa State on its way. The Huskies are led by arguably the best point guard in the nation, Shabazz Napier.

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Spartans Match up with Cavaliers in Sweet Sixteen

Madison Square Garden will be rocking Friday night when two of college basketball’s hottest teams face off for a bid to the Elite Eight.

No. 1 Virginia cruised through their first two games of the tournament, beating No. 16 Coastal Carolina and No. 8 Memphis by a combined 29 points. The Cavaliers earned the No. 1 seed by beating Duke in the ACC Tournament and have one of the best defenses in the nation.

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